Behold America: A History of America First and the American Dream
Lecture / Free admission
The 'American Dream' and 'America First' are two of the most familiar phrases in America today, and also two of the most misunderstood. The American Dream began as an exhortation to democratic and economic equality, not individual success, while America First emerged as a nativist, white-nationalist term that was much more influential in American history than has previously been recognized. In this talk, Professor Sarah Churchwell traces a genealogy of these powerful two expressions, revealing how both were born nearly a century ago and instantly tangled over capitalism, democracy and race, coming to embody opposing views in the battle to define the soul of the nation.
Sarah Churchwell is Professor in American Literature and Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is the author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and The Invention of The Great Gatsby, The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe, and most recently, Behold, America: A History of America First and the American Dream.
She has written for the New York Review of Books, Guardian, New Statesman, Financial Times, Times Literary Supplement and New York Times Book Review, among many others, and comments regularly on arts, culture, and politics for UK television and radio, where appearances include Question Time, Newsnight and The Review Show. She has judged many literary prizes, including the 2014 Man Booker Prize and the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction, and she was a co-winner of the 2015 Eccles British Library Writer’s Award.
Organizer: Bavarian American Academy in cooperation with Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism
Contact: Dr. Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm
(Photo: Sarah Churchwell ©Sarah Churchwell)
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